§ MR. JAMES O'CONNOR (Wicklow, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, if his attention has been called to the case of North v. the Blackrock and Kingstown Main Drainage Board, heard before the Vice Chancellor in the Dublin Courts about five weeks ago, when it was admitted by counsel, acting for the defendant Board, that the main drainage system had not been laid down in accordance with the provisions of the Act of Parliament; whether the Solicitor General for Ireland is correctly reported to have stated on behalf of the plaintiff, North, that the Board had constructed works that were wholly different in point of principle, in scope and design, from those authorised by the Act; and, whether, in view of the fact that the special Act of Parliament thus violated was obtained at a cost of £10,000, and that £50,000 have been spent on the main drainage works constructed on wholly different lines from those specified in the Act, the Local Government Board intend to take any notice of the irregularities, and of the great waste of the ratepayers' money?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
My attention has been drawn to the subject matter of this question. I am informed by the Local Government Board that the auditor, in his last report on the accounts of this Drainage Board, pointed out that there had been deviations from the plans described in the special Act, but that the Drainage Board had been advised by counsel that they were acting within their power in making the alterations. In consideration of this, and having regard to the fact that no protest was made to the auditor against the expenditure being allowed, he passed the payments so far as made in the period under audit. The next audit of the accounts will take place in April, and it will then be open to any ratepayers to appear 1600 before the auditor and object to the allowance of any expenditure they deem illegal.